I’m looking forward to…

Well, it isn’t the snow forecast for the weekend in Kansas City.

The weather will start to warm up next weekend – in the 50’s – it arrives while we are in Belize. Obviously, we didn’t plan that well.  This would have been the week to be gone!

I look forward to camping this summer..Bennett Spring is #1 on my list…I would like to take a camping trip to Glacier National Park in Montana during the sultry days of July.  The first of May looks to be perfect for  3 days in Vegas with some friends from the Sheriff’s Office in Newton.  I’m giddy with excitement to see the other 4 again.  I’m looking forward to Major League Baseball season.  While I’ve had to switch my lifetime allegiance over to the American League from the National League (I will still root for those Cincinnati Reds) but after last years Royal Fever, I know it is not going to be a hard adjustment.



He and I took our taxes to the CPA this past week so while we were close, we decided to drop by the Sports Complex to find our way around.

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Which only made me look forward to the NFL season!!  I look forward to spending time with family and friends this summer. I hope to get in a couple of Slipstream concerts.  I can see the Iowa Stair Fair on the agenda.  There is hope……… good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.

Until next time…..

I wish I had…….

Who doesn’t occasionally wish they had done something different in their past.  It creeps up on me every now and then.  My one solid regret is not continuing my education…I always come back to it.  Mostly it centers around what I could have done with my life if I had gotten a degree..I could have…. (fill in the blank).

A Facebook post this morning took me in deeper – especially when I read a lot of the comments.  It was a blackboard with the words “What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?   On the surface, I agreed with a lot of the responses…but as I really started thinking about it – what would I really change.  Because if I changed something, I wouldn’t be the person I am today and would not have had the great experiences I did have.  Yes, I know, that person would probably be happy and living a fulfilled life too…but what if?

Starting when I was 18 and officially making my own decisions what if I had gone on to college and obtained that coveted degree.  I’m sure I would never have met Gena and the best thing she EVER did for me was introducing me to him….I wouldn’t have the same daughters..I wouldn’t have had the same amazing career I had and I probably would not be retired at 58.  There would have been another life with other friends and other families and other REGRETS and other DISAPPOINTMENTS and LAUGHTER and LOVE.  But theoretically it would have been the same basic play with just different actors and actresses.  Logically, I know this to be true…but it hit me in a much deeper spot and it may have been one of those “AHA” moments in my life that will change the way I think about things.

I didn’t do things different…I am me and I have what I have…move on and love the life you have built on the decisions you made and the experiences you had.

Until next time…..

Finding sway

Great post!


People in this world are either branch or trunk.Sand storm, Kalahari desert

Yes, I am vastly oversimplifying. Bear with me.

I used to be a branch type of gal. Creative, growth-oriented, swaying in the breeze but firmly anchored.

When young and single, my trunk was my family of origin—namely my mom and dad.

They were stable, oh so Midwestern, oh so predictable (except for that brief stint with disco lessons which we all studiously avoided discussing—I chalk it up to midlife crisis).

When I married, I wed a man who was stable, steady, balanced his checkbook to the penny.

He became the trunk to my branches.

It is oh so easy to be a branch—to grow, change with the season, be spontaneous, sway with the breeze—when you are firmly anchored to a solid base.

At some point in life and my marriage, I became the trunk. Unwillingly, perhaps unwittingly, I became the solid…

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The OMG dreaded mammogram call back….

I’m glad it is Monday!  Last week ended up being an emotionally draining week!  I got the call and then the letter that the radiologist saw some density on my mammo that he didn’t see on the previous one.  I did what I always do..I turned to the internet…. GAWWWWW.  While the news was emotionally supportive with many stories from women who have had a good outcome – there were a few devastating posts.  I had him go with me this morning for my tests which included a second mammo and a possible ultrasound.  It turned out to be normal breast tissue…PHEW…I made a pact with myself on the way home that February will now be my month for an annual mammogram.  This waiting 4 or 5 years between them is just stupid and ridiculous.  One thing I read on line is that women should continue having mammograms until the time when you choose to not have them because if cancer is found, you will choose not do anything about it. I assume this means that you are either not healthy enough to endure surgery or something else got you first.

I had very little spunk this weekend after the fall in the parking garage.  But I’m recovering and will probably make a visit to the chiropractor this week once I know I won’t scream when he adjusts me.

Last week Jax had an eye infection…it was better after the first 24 hours of antibiotics…but I told the girls that the only time I regretted having kids is when they were sick.  The unknown has always sent me over the edge with worry and anxiety.    It’s not different with grand babies!!!

For me – good health is good life.  Everything else can be dealt with.

Until next time……

It may appear I’m attention seeking….

But holy mother of God, I fell again….on my back, my head bounced and I heard expletives in the parking garage which could have come out of my mouth but didn’t.

The last time this happened, I was in the parking lot of the sheriff’s office, walking Marsha Patterson’s police K9 over to pee when I got wrapped around the leash..this was in November of that year around Thanksgiving.  Flat on my back – couldn’t get up – sheriff’s office employees standing over me waiting for the ambulance.  I ended up being fine with back muscle pain which lasted over a year…and a total memory that will never disappear!

Just to preface…I’ve been doing planks…trying to strengthen up my core..I missed two days and decided Thursday night that I could hold on for 73 seconds…as Friday wore on, I was having some muscle spasms in the same spot as before…we left the auction early.

Walking into the parking garage with him carrying a box of dishes, he said ewww that’s slick and told me to walk over toward the door frame – which I did…holding onto it as I tried to walk around onto the dry concrete when BAM.

I don’t even notice the muscle pain in my left lower back now.  As closely as I can determine, the impact occurred on my right shoulder and elbow.  I’m sore but I’m fine.  The question to be asked here is how he could walk across the ice with just a skid and me not even able to take a step on the ice …I had no traction.  I think this is the difference.


While I figured my tennis shoes (bottom) had plenty of traction – I had a false sense of security – I need to have something more like his Merrills.  Which means, darn-it, I’m going to have to go shoe shopping…or…I will just stay home until spring arrives.  Decisions, Decisions!

Until next time….

Under the heading .. 6 degrees of separation

Several friends and I have talked about my uncanny connection to people through friends of friends of friends.  For whatever reason, I’ve always known I have a quick mind and it has enhanced my ability to draw from my hard drive and put two and two together…I get total pleasure making a friendship with someone and then bring all the pieces together with someone else we have in common.  It may be an only child thing?  I don’t know…other only children may understand.

I recently built on a connection…the people who bought our house in Newton were known to me from living in Newton for so many years.  She actually is my friend, Gena’s hairstylist..so that was fun.  She and I eventually became Facebook friends.  One day I saw a communication between Melonee, the hairstylist, and a Marcy Blenderman Davidson about a painting class – which seems to be very popular now.  My mind shot back 40 years to being in High School shorthand class and one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Blenderman.  I remembered, somehow, that she had mentioned her daughter, Marcy, for whatever reason – probably because she was in the same age group.  I immediately sent Marcy a private message and asked if she was Mrs. Blenderman’s daughter…she friended me on Facebook.  I LOVED it!!!

This morning, I remembered that there was a yearbook picture of Mrs. Blenderman and I in 1974…


That’s what I’m thinking about today.

Until next time…..

A year passes ridiculously fast at this age!

1 year ago today, I walked out of the radio room at Jasper County for the last time…and 1 year ago today, Vapur of Lee’s Summit opened it’s doors.

It has been like driving through an unincorporated town in which you can’t blink or you will miss it.

The only decisions I have regretted after a year is what color I had the living room and bedroom painted.

I’m gonna bloom where I was planted but give me another month, I really do not like the cold!

Until next time….

I’ve become one of them…..

I don’t even know how to start…explain how I feel, defend how I feel or just go take some xanax and forget about it.  I’m a total adrenalin junkie.  Was this born in to me or was it acquired because of my daily hits for the adrenalin high resulting from my 911 job?  Whatever the reason, I love to let my senses soak in shiny things that make a lot of noise and go fast…like fire trucks, rescue vehicles and cop cars.

My first love is EMS and fire.  About two decades ago, I followed a dream or wild hair and decided to take training to become an EMT for a local volunteer ambulance service.  I completed the training portion of becoming a certified emergency first responder but didn’t actually take my state test because reality set in and I realized I lived in the wild…I have another politically incorrect name for it that ends with Egypt…and did not live close enough to the station of the volunteer fire/ems for my area to even consider my value in becoming a member.  The only paid EMS service was in Newton and required fireMAN training also.  I let that dream go…My thirst for the danger and adrenalin manifested by becoming a reserve police officer for a small town about 20 minutes from our house in the country.  It was very hard work for my then acquired age…the physical training was difficult but I had a dream and the drive to do it and I had my friend, Rod, to keep me on track.  Rod and I passed, did the pepper spray training, asp training, trained and certified for our permits to carry and we were on the job.

NinaNina and Rod

The Chief of the Department put me into the elementary school 1 day a month to talk to kids about the police and 911 and let them talk to me about whatever and just be a presence.  This was a volunteer position.  After about a year, my dad had died, I had fought depression and gained some weight.  I knew my days of wearing the uniform were over when Rod and I were working a community event…I needed to go the bathroom…after the deed was done, I couldn’t zip my uniform pants…so I opened the door to the bathroom and yelled at him to come in…we had  an exchange of loud conversation where he was insisting he wasn’t coming into the women’s restroom and I was insisting that he was or we weren’t going anywhere..I won…he came in and zipped my pants while I held them closed.  This was our friendship…this was my WOD.

Toward the end of my career at 911, I was heavily involved with the county emergency management..I really thought that when I retired, I would go that route and do something in the related field…

So to make a long story a little longer.  I heard emergency sirens coming a couple of nights ago…then I heard the fire truck fog horns and knew this wasn’t just an ambulance run…this was important and they were making the “get the hell out of our way” noise.  I looked out the front window and saw a lot of smoke hanging in the valley….and then more sirens and more heavy fire trucks and more noise and I had to see what was going on…

In order not to look like your typical rubber neck, I leashed Frannie up for a walk.  It was a fire all right – many departments showed up…fire trucks and police car and rescue units were passing me on the street – loud, bright and exciting.  All the while, I thought to myself I used to absolutely hate the rubber neckers or the idiots who would call the police to see what was going on when they heard a siren.  Here as I was.  My total rush had nothing to do with the house being on fire as all of the other morons standing on the corner with Frannie and I.  I was there for the high.  I was there for hearing the rumble of the arriving apparatus trucks and the sirens and the lights.  I’ve become one of them….

Until next time

Memories in the hobby room….

My hobby room is nearly complete…I actually share it with Jaxon’s play room, the treadmill, and the cats.  We (he) is gong to put corrugated tin on the ceiling and most of it still needs trim.  But I”m happy!  It is by far my favorite room in the house..because it is mine and my stuff and memory stuff that makes me feel really good…

My dad and his father before him owned a dairy – this was a long, long time ago, obviously.  I found some of his glass milk bottles while going through his things and also found bottle caps from both dairy.  Oh, how I wish he were here so he could tell me stories.  I glued them and the mailbox sign on this old chalkboard and hung it by my desk.

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My dad was an artist.  After he completed his 6 foot Budweiser team project, he started doing little western scenes – dioramas to keep himself busy.  This is the largest and my favorite…not a great picture.  It is all made out of clay and miscellaneous  medium that he had in the house.  He was also very frugal and didn’t buy things for his projects.


As most of you probably know, my maiden name was Green and my mother’s maiden name was Brown so I had a Grandparents Brown and Grandparents Green just like my kids.  My Grandpa Brown built trucks in the early days and finally sold out to John Ruan for you Iowans who bow down to the name.  I found one of the signs used on his trucks.


Growing up in the 60’s my dad had a blue VW beetle.  Lennie Shaffer Houge and I used to play in it.  Played house along with Davey Jones and Andy Williams to name a few.  They loved us, you know.  I’ve always had a love for the Beetle.  I was thrilled when the him-in-law bought and old one to restore.  I’m trying to stop myself from starting another collection of VW Beetles..but I got this one at the Ice House Auction last week.  It is beside the Avon bottle bug on one of my cupboards.


This is a license plate that him-in-law kept from a car he owned in Italy…It has a lot of meaning for me now after my two trips to Italy…so it has double the meaning.


…and then my Bennett Spring sign.  The place on earth where I started finding peace.  Its a place I celebrated love and life with my dear friend, Brett.  It’s just outside of Lebanon, Missouri and we camped and fished together several times a summer.  He and I have driven thru once – will go back this summer and camp..Brett died in 2010 and I think it has been long enough that it will be possible to go back with loving memories and make new memories.


Until next time….

I’m mildly emotional today – it could go either way….

Jenny and I were talking about marathon-watching TV shows the other day.  TV series that you didn’t watch when they were on their regular run or ones that you just find on Netflix or ? when you just need to sink your teeth into a really good show to escape real life.  She made the comment that watching them as a marathon is usually the best way to do it if its a REALLY GOOD SHOW!  That happened to me with Parenthood.  I didn’t watch the first few seasons but heard everyone talking about it so by about the third season I started the 1st season on Amazon Prime…hour after hour after hour until I got caught up.  Then comes the final season…..I was having a hard time dealing with this show being over so I DVR’d it instead of watching it, then hoarded the episodes and watched a couple at a time.  That’s the way to really watch a good TV show.  Last night, I decided to bite the bullet and finish it.  He went to bed at a normal time and I started the finale episode at 3AM this morning.  It was an amazing show for me.  It always made me feel some emotion and it always made me introspective. I will always feel the Braverman family are old friends that I knew once.

I also had a couple of other moments in the last week – a connection type comment from someone I don’t know very well and a shared post on my Facebook page from a cousin’s son that totally took me by surprise and gave me an umph…I think that most of us need those kind, caring connections occasionally to reinforce that someone else appreciates our value and recognizes that we are who we think we are.

It’s really the little acts of kindness that can make our day!

Until next time…